Monday, 24 July 2017

Compounding Fines

  Another “loose end”!  Upon entering our Adelaide house I found a large pile of mail.  Before leaving for the UK we arranged with the post office to redirect all our mail, but obviously that wasn’t 100% successful.  Once I started examining the mail it was apparent most of it was semi-junk mail.  However I was somewhat  concerned when I started to open letters from the State government informing me we were in default and had been fined.  Moreover, as I continued to open mail the fine increased in size with each consecutive letter.  Unfortunately none of the letters mentioned the reason for the fine.  The final letters had a compounding fine amount of $482.50 for each of us.  The last letter stated that because we hadn’t responded or paid the fine our driver’s licenses were cancelled and the case handed (sold) to a commercial debt collecting agency.

At the bottom of the pile of mail I finally found a letter with the reason for the fines.  We hadn’t voted in the 2014 State Election.  Voting at State and Federal level in Australia is compulsory.  Part of me thinks compulsory voting is a good idea as it compels eligible lethargic citizens to exercise their democratic responsibilities.   Another part of me thinks compulsory voting is undemocratic.  People should have the right to decide whether or not they want to vote.  The cynical part of me believes this is a revenue stream for political parties as they receive a financial return for each vote their party receives.  Anyway, I now have the additional task of having the fines withdrawn.

The E.R.France docked in Fremantle port on 19 July and our container was unloaded and removed from the port the same day.  We have received an email advising there is a $88 quarantine clearance fee and delivery to us will take 10-14 days.  Not quite as fast as I was anticipating.  My guess is the container is in a bond store (ie, compound) awaiting inspection by Customs and the Dept of Agriculture.

The severe itching and swelling from my contact with the Bougainvillea is slowly dissipating.  I’m now sure it was the Bougainvillea as the itchy lumps have now appears all over the top of my head and my face.  I was sprayed with Bougainvillea when I used the chainsaw to cut the overhanging vines and the cuttings fell down on top of me.  Hopefully I’ll be over the worst of the swelling and irritation by the end of the week.

No comments :